It’s Chinese New Year and it can be a truly golden year for Britain and China. Our economic relationship goes from strength to strength. Since we came to office, the number of British goods bought in China has doubled.
We often think of Chinese food, technology and clothing – they’re a big part of our lives in Britain – but today, it works both ways. Look at China’s supermarkets and you’ll see British salmon, British whisky. Look at China’s roads and you’ll see Jaguars, Land Rovers. In fact, China is JLR’s biggest market.
Where are their shoppers visiting? Burberry, Church’s, Costa. And what are they watching? Yes, Downton Abbey, which draws in a reported 160 million viewers in China.
You can see the strength of that relationship here in Britain, too. I think of Heathrow Airport, Thames Water, made stronger thanks to Chinese business people who invest here. Our universities, made greater thanks to the 100,000 Chinese students who study here. And our country, made better thanks to British Chinese people who make such a great contribution to our culture, communities, businesses and public services.
As we celebrate New Year, families will be coming together, often travelling thousands of miles to do so. The fireworks, the parades and the feasts will be spectacular.
So wherever you are, let me wish you the very best health and happiness for this, the Year of the Sheep. Xin nian kuai le.